In 2002 the unprecedented growth in the housing market was widely viewed as evidence of a healthy economy, but to economist Dean Baker the numbers did not add up. That year he published a prophetic brief, The Run-up in Home Prices: Is It Real or Is It Another Bubble? For the first time ever, Baker observed, housing prices were far outpacing inflation and rent increases. Aided by lower interest rates, looser credit standards, and questionable lending practices, the already indebted were taking on more debt, believing the boom would continue. Baker predicted a bust and prescribed reining in the institutions that were encouraging the bubble. As he tells it, his predictions were dismissed or ignored.